NBA Draft Rumors: Latest Rumblings on Potential 2020 Picks and Prospects

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2020

Tyrese Haliburton
Tyrese HaliburtonCharlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Despite the current restrictions imposed on what scouting activities are allowed, a handful of NBA draft prospects are still bolstering their perception in the eyes of teams.

In recent weeks, draft-eligible players have participated in video conference calls. While not the ideal source for primary communication, the calls afford the prospects a chance to demonstrate their off-court maturity and intelligence for team personnel.

Elite skills are vital, of course, but they're only part of the evaluation.

Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton is one such prospect who has thrived in this situation, per Sam Vecenie of The Athletic.

"Sources have said that Haliburton will be able to adjust to just about any situation he's put in early in his career and will find success," Vecenie said. "Consistently, he's come up as being one of the most impressive human beings in this class."

In his most recent mock draft, B/R's Jonathan Wasserman pegged the versatile guard as the No. 5 overall selection.

Haliburton spent two seasons at Iowa State and put together a terrific sophomore year. In 22 games before suffering a season-ending wrist injury in February, he averaged 15.2 points and 6.5 assists while hitting 41.9 percent from three-point range. Haliburton added 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.

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Listed at 6'5", the Wisconsin native profiles as an immediate contributor because of his passing ability and efficient long-range shooting. Whether he's a ball-handler or complementary wing, Haliburton is likely to earn a spot in the rotation as a rookie.

And if he's impressing as quickly as sources have suggested to Vecenie, that will be the expectation too.

Conversely, there are potential impact players whoif they remain in the drafthave a larger degree of variance in evaluations. Two such prospects are Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman and San Diego State guard Malachi Flynn.

Vecenie reported Tillman has also stood out positively in interviews.

Xavier Tillman
Xavier TillmanCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

"He's impressed with his recall of certain sequences, his understanding of the role he'd be likely to play and the way that he can explain and break down certain concepts," Vecenie wrote.

Tillman earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019-20. Overall, he averaged 13.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.2 steals.

As for Flynn, Vecenie noted the research done on the All-American guard has returned top reviews for his work ethic.

"One scout described him as 'the kind of guy that you have to lock out of the gym and lock the balls up in order to keep him from working out,'" Vecenie said.

Flynn put together a terrific junior year, providing 17.6 points, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He propelled San Diego State to a 30-2 record and potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Missing out on March Madness stung, though.

As a result, the predraft process is especially important for him. A common refrain for mid-major players is a lower competition level, so Flynn needs to shrink that gap in perceptionwhich can happen in both conversations and workouts.

While Tillman could return to Michigan State, Flynn is expected to remain in the draft. For borderline first-round picks like them, any opportunity to make a good impression is a critical one.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.